About David Hume Kennerly

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David Hume Kennerly
David Hume Kennerly, Photographer, at WAR/Photography Exhibition Opening, Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, California, 2014

For over fifty years, photojournalist David Hume Kennerly has provided an intimate view of politics and world events. At age 25 he became one of the youngest winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. Kennerly’s 1972 Pulitzer award for Feature Photography included images of the Ali v. Frazier World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden, the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia, and East Pakistan refugees fleeing into India. Two years later Kennerly was appointed President Gerald R. Ford's chief White House photographer. His photos have appeared in dozens of magazines, including on the cover of Time, Life, and Newsweek. For ten years he served as a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine and for the media network Politico. He has worked as a contributing photographer for Time and Life magazines, as well for as John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s George magazine.

In 2018 Kennerly was named the first Presidential Scholar under University of Arizona President Robert Robbins. The honorary appointment exemplifies the university's commitment to advancing the meaning and understanding of interdisciplinary work in the arts, humanities and social sciences – disciplines that are seen as critical to success in the emerging global economy.

Kennerly is the author of seven books including memoirs Shooter (1979) and Photo Op (1995); collections of his work Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld (1998), Photo du Jour (2002), and Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford (2007); and the most recent, a how-to book that aims to democratize the thoughtful use of the revolutionary smart phone camera technology David Hume Kennerly On the iPhone (2014). In 2009 he was a producer of Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book and was one of its principal photographers. Kennerly has also worked in television and film in writing, directing, and executive producer roles.

Kennerly’s photographs have been exhibited and collected by museums and public and private collections internationally. His work has been shown at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles; the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; the Houston Center for Photography, Houston, Texas; and he was featured at Visa pour l’image: International Festival for Photojournalism in Perpignan, France with a career retrospective. His photographs from Vietnam were featured in the War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, curated by Anne Wilkes Tucker of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Kennerly was featured in the original short documentary, The War Photographers, produced as a companion to the War/Photography exhibition by the Annenberg Space for Photography. Kennerly’s work is in the Library of Congress, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Smithsonian Institution, all in Washington, D.C.

Kennerly has received numerous awards and honors including Lucie Masters of Photography Award for Achievement in Photojournalism; Overseas Press Club’s Olivier Rebbot Award for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad; White House Press Photographer's first place for Best Campaign Coverage; two World Press Photo contest first place prizes for his Cambodian coverage; and the President's Award for Excellence in Journalism, Greater Los Angeles Press Club. American Photo Magazine named him “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography” and he appeared on their Best Photo Books list for Photo Du Jour; and Washingtonian Magazine called Kennerly one of the 50 most important journalists in Washington, DC. In 2015, he received an honorary doctorate from Lake Eric College in Painesville, Ohio. Kennerly is on the Board of Trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation. He is a member of the board of directors of the Eddie Adams Workshop, the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles, and Creative Visions Foundation.

Learn more about Kennerly on his website.